The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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THE SOUTH DOWNS                   217
fountain, which commemorates John Ruskin, who once helped the hamlet about its water-supply, has been largely destroyed, but probably more from a spirit of mischief than from any serious disagreement with the teachings of the artist on the part of the village boys.
Poynings, as it is now spelt, is still pronounced, as it appears in the Cartulary of Lewes Priory, Punnings. It stands in the Weald almost under the Dyke, and is chiefly remarkable for its beautiful early Perpendicular church, which was built with money left by Michael the second Baron Poynings, who died in 1369 and was the great-great-grandfather of the famous lord-deputy of Ireland. A cruciform building, it somewhat re­sembles Alfriston ; the four limbs are not very far from being of equal length, and the battlemented central tower has small trefoiled single-light open­ings. There are no aisles, but the nave has a north porch: the interior is most striking and spacious-looking, though the building is not large; the tower arches spring from semi-octagonal responds, the roofs are plain open timber, the windows are covered by sharply pointed arches and the largest, over the altar, has five lights. There are trefoiled sedilia and piscina; in the south transept are rather broken coffin slabs and some encaustic tiles, monuments of the family of Poynings, whose manor-house east of the church has left a few fragments used in farm buildings. Their arms appear on a shield over the east window outside, and also on the porch. In the last, according to the Gentleman's Magazine (1811), the court leet for the Hundred of Poynings has from time immemorial been held. On each side there is still an extremely massive
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